MADISON COUNTY, IL– The body of a man who was been missing for nearly eight months, was reportedly discovered by his wife while she was searching for Christmas decorations in their home.
The body of 53-year-old Richard Maedge was discovered in a hideaway closet of his home in Troy on Dec. 11.
Officials say the wife, Jennifer Maedge, originally contacted them on April 27 after she could not get in touch with her husband.
Jennifer reported that Richard called her the day before to say that he was leaving for work early, but when she arrived home, she noticed his vehicle was still parked in the driveway.
Troy police reportedly searched the home twice but were unable to locate Richard.
During the first search, authorities described the home as a “hoarder home,” and reported a “sewer-like” smell inside of the residence.
Jennifer contacted the police department again to search the home as the smell persisted.
Authorities searched the home again but still did not find any remains.
The family eventually called a plumber, who described the odor as “sewer gas” and installed a cap on one of the sewer pipes in the basement.
The cap appeared to solve the issue of the smell.
It wasn’t until Jennifer went into a concealed storage closet to retrieve a tote full of Christmas decorations that she discovered Richard’s body.
Richard’s body was described as being beyond decomposition and was in a mummified state.
The Coroner’s office reported that Richard died by suicide and that the mummified state of the body may explain why there was no strong odor.